Research ArticleECOLOGY

Soil microbes drive phylogenetic diversity-productivity relationships in a subtropical forest

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Science Advances  23 Oct 2019:
Vol. 5, no. 10, eaax5088
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aax5088
  • Fig. 1 Results of regression models predicting biomass production in response to SR or Faith’s PD of tree communities.

    Nonoverlapping quadrats of the 50-ha permanent plot were analyzed at five different spatial scales (10 m by 10 m, 20 m by 20 m, 30 m by 30 m, 40 m by 40 m, and 50 m by 50 m). Statistics associated with the regressions are given in table S1.

  • Fig. 2 The relationship between diversity among neighboring tree seedlings and productivity at the seedling stage.

    The total height of seedlings in each 1-m2 seedling quadrat was significantly related to (A) plant SR and (B) plant PD in the 2017 census.

  • Fig. 3 Phylogenetic relationships of focal tree species and experimental design for the shade-house experiments.

    The phylogeny was built with the online software Phylomatic. In the first experiment (treatments 1 to 25), each pot included eight seedlings representing one of four SR levels: monocultures (SR1), treatments 1 to 8; two species (SR2), treatments 9 to16; four species (SR4), treatments 17 to 24; and eight species (SR8), treatment 25. In the second experiment (treatments 26 to 33), we transplanted four seedlings into each pot with a fixed SR of four, with Castanopsis fissa included as a shared species in all treatments. Treatments varied in PD from 98 to 410 in units of branch length.

  • Fig. 4 The relationship between plant biomass production and seedling diversity in pots in shade-house experiment 1.

    (A) SR and (B) PD. Lines are estimated from linear regressions, with black symbols and lines showing results of pots containing field soil and gray for pots containing initially sterilized soil. Statistics for lines are given in table S3.

  • Fig. 5 Variation in total fungal richness, richness of pathogenic fungal OTUs, and read abundance of pathogenic fungi as functions of plant SR and PD in each field soil–treated pot in shade-house experiment 1.

    (A and B) OTU richness was calculated on the basis of internal transcribed spacer (ITS) ribosomal DNA sequencing data in each pot. (C and D) Pathogen richness was calculated as number of fungal OTUs per pot identified as pathotrophs. (E and F) Pathogen read abundance was the percentage of the total number of fungal reads from each pot that were identified as pathogenic fungal OTUs. Each dot represents the results for an individual pot; points on the left (A, C, and E) are positioned to include a small amount of random variation along the x axis when necessary to avoid overplotting.

  • Fig. 6 The relationship between PD and total plant biomass production with different soil biota treatments in shade-house experiment 2.

    Seedling standardized mean biomass were calculated for (A) all four species, (B) only C. fissa, and (C) all species excluding C. fissa. Solid lines indicate significant (P < 0.05) linear regressions. Colored symbols indicate different soil biota treatments: purple triangles, combined field soil collected under adults of all four species in that pot; orange circles, field soil from beneath C. fissa; gray squares, sterilized soil. Statistics for lines are given in table S4.

Supplementary Materials

  • Supplementary material for this article is available at http://advances.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/full/5/10/eaax5088/DC1

    Supplementary Methods

    Fig. S1. Soil inoculum and sterile effects on community structure of plant pathogens in the shade-house experiments.

    Fig. S2. The relative importance of plant richness, PD, soil microbes, and their interaction for plant productivity in shade-house experiment 1.

    Fig. S3. Partition of complementarity and selection effects of plant diversity on seedling biomass in shade-house experiment 1.

    Fig. S4. Variation in diversity of total and pathogenic fungal OTUs as functions of plant diversity in the sterilized soil of shade-house experiment 1.

    Fig. S5. Regression coefficients of read abundance of pathogenic fungi (top) total fungal richness (middle), and richness of pathogenic fungal OTUs (bottom) as functions of plant PD in different soil biota treatments in shade-house experiment 2.

    Table S1. Results of linear models predicting the biomass production to SR and Faith’s PD of tree communities in test quadrats at five spatial scales of the 50-ha plot, as shown in Fig. 2.

    Table S2. Results of linear models predicting the total height of seedlings in each 1-m2 seedling quadrat as a function of SR or Faith’s PD among neighboring tree seedlings at the seedling stage, as shown in Fig. 2.

    Table S3. Results of linear models predicting pot biomass production to SR and Faith’s PD in shade-house experiment 1, as shown in Fig. 4.

    Table S4. Results of linear models of the relationship between PD and total plant biomass production in shade-house experiment 2, as shown in Fig. 6.

  • Supplementary Materials

    This PDF file includes:

    • Supplementary Methods
    • Fig. S1. Soil inoculum and sterile effects on community structure of plant pathogens in the shade-house experiments.
    • Fig. S2. The relative importance of plant richness, PD, soil microbes, and their interaction for plant productivity in shade-house experiment 1.
    • Fig. S3. Partition of complementarity and selection effects of plant diversity on seedling biomass in shade-house experiment 1.
    • Fig. S4. Variation in diversity of total and pathogenic fungal OTUs as functions of plant diversity in the sterilized soil of shade-house experiment 1.
    • Fig. S5. Regression coefficients of read abundance of pathogenic fungi (top) total fungal richness (middle), and richness of pathogenic fungal OTUs (bottom) as functions of plant PD in different soil biota treatments in shade-house experiment 2.
    • Table S1. Results of linear models predicting the biomass production to SR and Faith’s PD of tree communities in test quadrats at five spatial scales of the 50-ha plot, as shown in Fig. 2.
    • Table S2. Results of linear models predicting the total height of seedlings in each 1-m2 seedling quadrat as a function of SR or Faith’s PD among neighboring tree seedlings at the seedling stage, as shown in Fig. 2.
    • Table S3. Results of linear models predicting pot biomass production to SR and Faith’s PD in shade-house experiment 1, as shown in Fig. 4.
    • Table S4. Results of linear models of the relationship between PD and total plant biomass production in shade-house experiment 2, as shown in Fig. 6.

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